It’s Spring 2020/mid Pandemic – a time of MASSIVE change.
Up until this very moment, our world has been running on an Industrial Era paradigm, where cities have been the hubs of industry/living, flanked by sprawling burbs and then sparsely populated rural areas.
This model made complete sense a century+ ago when raw materials arrived by sea, river, or train - to be manufactured into finished products, and sent back out to the world by ship or train. We needed to live close to these hubs in order to have reasonable commutes to work. Entertainment, culture, and educational institutions centralized in these cities, because this is where the people were. The benefits outweighed the downsides like increased traffic, scarcity of parking, pollution, ugliness of suburbs and sprawl, and a sense of isolation borne of overcrowding.
We're reeling from COVID-19, and this city/burb/country paradigm is collapsing and makes zero sense for the future. US manufacturing has mostly died in big cities. Our workforce largely involves exchanging data & information, or providing personal services, much of it virtually. Most academic education is happening online, saving literally trillions of dollars annually in the US. All this dramatically lowers the cost of doing business and removes the need to live in or near a city.
Now, if you don’t need to live in or near a city, perhaps you can consider living someplace:
2- easy to afford
3- with enough privacy to feel expansive and enough community to feel supported and connected
4- that is in harmony with the planet
5- that, if the large institutions break down (government, big business, commercial education, essential services, financial markets), your family and local community are self-sufficient enough in all important areas to "weather the storm."
Enter the MICRO VILLAGE. We envision small, self-reliant, interconnected communities located in beautiful rural locations - reminiscent of medieval villages, or even US, pre-industrial era coastal towns. Each has anywhere from a dozen to a hundred families or individuals, based on various factors (type of local industry, type of geography or terrain, type of community activities). These villages connect to other villages, virtually, in business partnering, and in various types of "cultural exchange activity" contexts. These elegant villages will be populated with "tiny homes for grownups,” a perfect size (up to 1,000 sq ft) and will provide the right amount of privacy, shared resource, and beauty. While not shut off from the world, these Microvillages will be self-contained; each provides all essential needs to create a healthy, sustained, and productive community, especially in times of global upheaval, pandemic, economic fluctuation, food shortage, or any other foreseeable global "correction."
When there are global upsets in things like currency valuation or large scale recession, the villages can bypass the international economy and function on an internal barter system. They will be nimble in as many ways as possible to both share in all forms of prosperity that comes with globalism, and be grounded in solid disciplines of self-reliance to fall back on when the global community is in crisis.
Our flagship "Maritime Micro Village" is in development on the coastal town of Friendship, Maine, USA.
On this page are examples of classic Micro Villages that inspire us.